Organized and Spiffy…aka: Keeping My Magazine Addiction Under Control…AAKA…Preventing the Possibility that Some Day I Will Be One of those Old People Whose House is Buried in Newspaper (or in my case, old issues of Shape, BH&G, and Family Circle…and Parenting, and Women’s Health, and Women’s Day, and Family Fun, and …”

I admit it, I’m a magazine junkie. Back in the day when my heart went pitter-pat for NKOTB (see #53)I would spend wads of babysitting money on TeenBeat, TuttiFrutti, Bop and other glossy homages to the teen idols I so adored. I would pull out the posters to adorn my walls, cut out special articles like the ones that had info on Jordan’s favorite things to do on a date  (I just knew that would come in handy when he saw me at his concert and fell in love with me), and paste the covers in a photo album. (Photo albums I may still have somewhere in my garage…oh yes I may)

Nowadays, as in – my life as a 30-something mom vs.  a tweeny-something junior high girl, I still enjoy buying magazines. I’m not much for t.v. , so in many ways magazines function like t.v. for me: lots of info in little quick tidbits. Much like a channel surfer, I will flip quickly through a magazine, stopping here and there to skim an article, but never staying with a story long enough to get, well, the full story. Perhaps this is why for years I was loathe to part with any of my glossy reading material. I always planned to go back and read this or that, I really wanted to hold on to that banana bread recipe, and wow, but you never knew when that article on potty training was going to come in handy. So I would save them…and as I usually have subscriptions to at least 3 magazines at any one time, my collection (and my bookshelves) fill up fast.

When we moved out of our townhome, I went through a forced purge and, refusing to be ridiuclous enough to PACK several year’s worth of  women’s health magazines, I tossed them all into a Free Pile at our moving sale, then dumped what didn’t go into the recycling bin.

Recently, I realized that I have been building the same dangerous tower of triteness in this home…and I refuse to teeter into that trap (oh, yes, I loves the alliteration). Reading a magazine cover to cover, even in a week’s time, is a highly unlikely prospect considering the juggling act  I call life…so, instead, I still do the skim routine I so love (I really do find it relaxing actually, especially if the reading time involves a latte and some bright morning sunshine…on a morning when both girls are still asleep).  When I come across an article I like: such as a running routine I’d like to try, a recipe for LOWFAT cheesecake I want to save for a bad pms day, or some great craft ideas I could implement for Miss A’s homeschool – I simply rip it out and file it.

When I say “file” I am not referring to giant office-y looking things…I simply have a 3 folder system…

Aren't they cute? I love shopping for folders.

In which I have labeled with something a little more specific than “stuff” and a little more general than “Meals for Summer Evenings”

Just "Crafts" "Fitness" & "Recipes"...I may have to add a "Home" file, for decorating, gardening, and what not
Just "Crafts" "Fitness" & "Recipes"...I may have to add a "Home" file, for decorating, gardening, and what not

So as I read, if I see something I know I’ll like, I just tear it out and add it to the appropriate folder.

When the folder starts to get too full, I move the collected pages to a marger binder (I keep a recipe binder by my cookbooks, a Craft binder with the homeshool stuff, etc)
When the folder starts to get too full, I move the collected pages to a larger 3ring binder (I keep a recipe binder by my cookbooks, a craft binder with the homeshool stuff, etc). The binders aren't as pretty, so I won't show them to you.

Then I pack up the de-filed (ha!) magazines and drop them off at Little Gym for other moms to read. (I apologize if you got excited about the “10 Best Ab Moves!” advertised on the cover, only to find the page to be MIA).

Since I have had this system in place, I am proud to say I can usually zip through a month’s worth of literature in a few days.

And I am even more proud to say that I have not put more publications onto the pile I previously started…and am in fact, slowly working towards reducing that as well.

Maybe in a fit of wild abandon I’ll drag them out of the basement and throw ’em into the garage sale we’re getting set to have this spring.

Need some reading material? Do you lust after old issues of Better Homes & Gardens?

Come check the free pile at my garage sale.

Just don’t bury yourself under your own pile. I don’t want to be an enabler or something.

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